Man Blames Cell Phone Use for Fatal Crash

February 28, 2007

The Boulder, Colo., man charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence in a fatal crash that happened in Montana told police he failed to halt at a stop sign because he was trying to use his cell phone.

Shawn Martin, 34, told officers the crash happened not because of “booze,” but because he was fiddling with his cell phone, a police report said.

Police at the scene said Martin reeked of alcohol, according to the report.

Martin, who received minor injuries in the crash, appeared before Justice of the Peace Wallace Jewell via video conference from Lewis and Clark County jail on Monday. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Martin is charged in the death of Donald E. Johnson, 71.

Police said he failed to stop at a stop sign shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, and his pickup struck Johnson’s car, sending it into a tree.

Johnson died at the scene of traumatic head and chest injuries, Coroner Mickey Nelson said.

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